POSTSCRIPT / May 8, 2022 / Sunday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Let's all come out to vote tomorrow!

For the first time in my half-century of journalism, I am disclosing in an advance article who will get my vote for president in a national election. Tomorrow, May 9, I’m voting for Leni Robredo.

Photo: Leni Robredo Facebook

Let me explain my vote….

I chose Robredo, 57, after critically comparing her personality, performance, and potential with that of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 64, who has been reported leading in random surveys yet showing less drawing power in campaign rallies despite his far superior resources.

We repeat what we said here last Thursday: All patriotic voters must go to the polling precincts early Monday to help save this nation from further damage in the hands of inept officials and thieves (“Magnanakaw”) who are returning to the scene of the crime to cover their tracks.

The past weeks of hectic campaigning have shown that presenting herself without baggage, but with a clear program of government, Robredo has rekindled hope for inclusive renewal in a nation of some 110 million weighed down by serious economic concerns.

There is something in her that connects to the crowd, aside from her manifesting empathy in addressing existential problems of those in the “laylayan” (hemline or fringes) of society. She has a gift of being able to inspire confidence of people in themselves.

Between her and the son of the late dictator, I’ve found her to be more effective in rallying people caught in the dilemma of a country that is rich in natural and human resources yet mired in poverty and laggard development.

Since I joined mainstream media in 1964, I have refrained from disclosing or even giving just a hint of my choice for president during an election season. I had been one of those who believe that stories should not be colored by the political biases or personal preferences of the authors.

I’m now breaking that self-imposed rule because I am alarmed at how many people seem to have been brainwashed over time into welcoming the return of the late dictator in the person of his son and namesake who is running for president.

* * *

At least Marcos is bringing in something of value, which is his family’s hidden wealth that many people presume is being used in his campaign. The government has been trying for decades to recover that hoard, a task likely to become mission impossible if he is elected president.

In his stints as Ilocos Norte governor, congressman, and senator, he has hardly contributed from his own talent and capability that could be considered the hallmarks of well-honed management skills or inspired leadership.

Despite his family’s wealth, mingled with public funds, and the vast opportunities available to him, Marcos has failed to bring home a college degree. Neither has he shown managerial and leadership acumen that could be put to use in case he becomes president.

In interviews, Marcos has said that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which was created in 1986 to recover the Marcos wealth estimated to run into billions of dollars worldwide, should be redirected to go after graft-tainted loot in general.

* * *

Marcos’ winning the presidency could mean goodbye to the recovery of his family’s alleged ill-gotten wealth, which is the subject of at least 40 civil cases languishing in various venues.

His becoming president could also lead to his granting of absolute pardon to his mother Imelda, 92, who is out on bail as she appeals her seven graft convictions, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of 11 years.

Is Marcos’ running for president part of a plot to burnish the tarnished family name – the high point of which could be the recapture of the palace that they abandoned in panic at the height of the 1986 EDSA Power Revolt?

The return of the Marcoses to Malacañang would facilitate the rewriting of the history of the martial law regime that saw the torture, death or disappearance of radicalized youths, critics and suspects lumped together as enemies of the state.

As Pia Magalona @piamagalona said yesterday on Twitter: “Isang beses lang dadaan sa buhay natin ang isang #LeniKiko2022. Huwag nating hayaan na lumipas ang pagkakataong ito. Tanggapin at dinggin natin sila. Tulungan natin sila na baguhin ang sistema ng ating gobyerno.”

* * *

With fine weather and the decline in the incidence of COVID-19 infections nationwide, a big turnout is expected of the 67.5 million eligible voters who will troop tomorrow to more than 100,000 clustered precincts. There are some 1.7 million voters overseas.

* * *

News RoundUp

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MANILA — As the petition to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of now-presumptive president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. moves up to the Supreme Court, his team has called for those who sow “divisiveness” to just help them be productive every day. (May 18)
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